2014 New York Cosmos Preview: The Goalkeepers

Mike Zarrilli

Hopefully the Cosmos get the same sort of quality in goal this season as they did during the 2013 fall campaign

Kyle Reynish was fantastic for the Cosmos in 2013, winning the Golden Glove award for posting the lowest goals against average in the league. The fact that the Cosmos only played the fall half of the campaign probably prevented him from earning NASL Best XI honors, but his fine work didn't go unnoticed by MLS sides. Reynish wound up signing with the Chicago Fire this winter, and with Sean Johnson widely expected to push for a move to Europe at some point in the near future, impressing in training and while Johnson is away at the World Cup could lead to a starting job.

The departure of Reynish left the Cosmos with a problem, as the departed keeper had started 14 of the club's 15 total games. Backup Jimmy Maurer looked relatively solid in his lone appearance of the season, though, and must have looked relatively impressive in training as well. When Reynish departed for Chicago, Maurer was installed as the club's new starting goalkeeper.

Maurer was a collegiate standout at South Carolina, and was selected 4th overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by that team playing in New Jersey. He didn't make the team, however, and wound up signing with the Atlanta Silverbacks just before the NASL season got underway. He made 18 appearances that season for Atlanta, before trying his luck in Chile during the 2012 season. That didn't seem to go particularly well, and Maurer latched on with the Cosmos before the reboot last fall.

How Jimmy performs in 2014 will be one of the keys to the season for the club. Gio Savarese played a possession based system during the 2013 campaign, and a strong defense combined with the league's best midfield left Reynish without too much work to do. If they can perform at the same sort of level in 2014, there's little reason to think Maurer will have much trouble at all.

With the promotion of Maurer, Gio Savarese was left in need of goalkeeping depth. Several players with MLS experience trialed with the club this spring before we eventually signed Kyle Zobeck to a contract. Zobeck spent last season with FC Dallas, after being taken with the 26th pick of the 2013 draft. He didn't see any MLS action last season and was limited to a few reserve matches. He impressed the Cosmos enough to earn a contract though, and will be our only backup option for Jimmy Maurer when the season kicks off.

More than any other position on the pitch, the goalkeeping is a big question mark to start the spring season. There is obvious talent there, but as yet, it hasn't translated into sustained success at the professional level. If the relatively inexperienced Maurer struggles, his backup is even more of an unknown commodity. I guess we'll all have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

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